Weather Updates

Joan Rivers spent early comedy years in Chicago

TV personality Joan Rivers died Thursday Sept. 4. She was 81. | AP file photo

TV personality Joan Rivers died Thursday, Sept. 4. She was 81. | AP file photo

storyidforme: 71481634
tmspicid: 25131174
fileheaderid: 12674739

Updated: September 5, 2014 8:02AM

NEW YORK — Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81.

Rivers was hospitalized last week after she went into cardiac arrest at a Manhattan doctor’s office following a routine procedure. Daughter Melissa Rivers said she died surrounded by family and close friends.

Rivers — who opened her routine with the trademark “Can we talk?” — never mellowed during a decades-long career. She moved from longtime targets such as Elizabeth Taylor, whom she famously ridiculed as fat, to new faces, and continued to appear in clubs and on TV into her 80s.


© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.